Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Pen and the Sword: The Sea-Hawk

"What have you to say, you renegade dog?" Sir John demanded.

"This, Sir John, that unless you order your men back aboard your ship, and make oath to desist from this encounter, I'll take you straight down to hell with us at once. I'll heave this lantern into the powder here, and we sink and you come down with us held by your own grappling hooks. Obey me and you shall have all that you have come to seek aboard this vessel. Mistress Rosamund will be delivered up to you."

Sir John glowered upon him for a moment from the poop. Then -

"Though not prepared to make terms with you," he announced, "yet I will accept the conditions you impose, but only provided I have all indeed that I am come to seek. There is aboard this galley an infamous renegade hound whom I am bound by my knightly oath to take and hang. He, too, must be delivered up to me. His name was Oliver Tressilian.

Instantly, unhesitatingly, came the answer -

"Him, too, will I surrender to you on your sworn oath that you will then depart and do here no further hurt."

Rosamund caught her breath, and clutched Sakr-el-Bahr's arm, the arm that held the lantern.

"Have a care, mistress," he bade her sharply, "or you will destroy us all."

- The Sea-Hawk, Raphael Sabatini

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